Cell Phone Numbers and the "Do Not Call" List
One of the many Web service APIs StrikeIron provides "out in the Cloud" is the ability to check if a telephone number is on the Federal "Do Not Call" list or one of the many similar state lists. This helps an organization that makes outbound telephone calls stay in compliance with Federal Trade Commission and state laws much more easily and cost-effectively. StrikeIron provides this service as an easy-to-integrate API. We also have done a slick integration into Salesforce.com, making compliance within Salesforce very easy as well.
If you are not familiar with the Do Not Call (DNC) list, you can simply register your telephone number to this national list, and by law, telemarketers may not call you pitching their various products and offers. There are exceptions of course (such as if you owe money to an organization), but in general companies face large fines if they do not adhere to this list with their outbound efforts. The largest fine levied so far has been in excess of $5 million dollars, and over sixty organizations have faced legal action for violating the list since its inception.
When the StrikeIron service is invoked (either a SOAP or REST call from an application) to check a given number, typically from a call center application or a business process of some kind, it checks other lists as well such as the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) list. It returns whether or not the provided number can be called, and if not, the reason it can not be called.
One of the possible reasons that we indicate a number can not be called is that the number is a cell phone. Federal regulations already prohibit most telemarketing targeted to cell phones.
We invariably get asked whether or not cell phones need to be separately registered with the DNC list. We also often get asked if the viral emails that are traveling the world indicating that cell phone numbers are going to be released to telemarketers very soon are true. The answer to both questions is no. There is no impending deluge of telemarketing about to occur to mobile devices. There is no separate cell phone registry either.
While you can register a cell phone number to the Federal DNC list without harm, there are already laws in place to prohibit telemarketers from using auto-dialers to dial cell phones and calling cell phone numbers without the consent of a consumer. So there is no need for cell phones to be registered to the list.
And if you are using a service such as StrikeIron's subscription-based DNC Call List Verification to check numbers against the DNC list, you can rest assured that cell phone numbers that are checked will come back with the appropriate response.